Awo's Statute Pulled Down


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Awo's Statue in Ibadan Felled; Ladoja Declares "War"




Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Awo's Statue Pulled Down

Chief Obafemi Awolowo's statue erected in front of the Oyo State Government House at Agodi, Ibadan by the administration of former governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, was on Friday pulled down.

Alhaji Adesina, on Tuesday,  May 27, 2003, commissioned the Awo statue to replace the unknown soldier statue that had for the past few years occupied the cenotaph.

The Awo statue, which is 12 feet high and weighing 33,000 kilograms, was said to have been built at a cost of N4 million.

But around 12-noon yesterday barely 48 hours after the statue was commissioned, some people believed to be supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were seen gathering around the cenotaph.

An hour later, the Awo statue was pulled down with the aid of a long hammer, saw blade and other implements.

Though Saturday Tribune could not ascertain on whose instruction the statue was pulled down, but some men, wearing uniforms with the inscription of PDP on it were seen pulling it down.

Though there has not been any official statement from government, but the State governor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja on Thursday while receiving the handover notes said that all decisions and activities of the immediate past administration between the time of the election and when he (Ladoja) was sworn in would be voided.


Sunday, June 1, 2003

Ladoja declares war on destroyers of Awo's Statue

The Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja, has declared an all-out war on the perpetrators of last Friday's act of destroying the statue of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo which was erected in front of the State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

Senator Ladoja, while reacting to the incident yesterday in Ibadan, stated that he had directed a full investigation into the incident and that anybody so apprehended in connection with it must be brought to book.

The governor, in a press statement signed by Mr. Adeola Oloko, disclosed that he himself is a product of Chief Awolowo and would never encourage any action whatsoever towards destroying history.

He warned that his administration would not tolerate any act of hooliganism and disregard for constituted authority….

Tongues have been wagging since the detestable deed was done.  Some have been pointing accusing fingers at the newly sworn-in government.

However, past events and antecedents of the State Governor, Senator Rasheed Dewolu Ladoja, are contrary to this widely circulated opinion among the populace.

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Sunday Tribune and would not want his name in print, on Friday May 30, a day after the new governor was sworn in, about five men gathered around the statue at about noon, climbed the Awo's statue and dismantled it with hammers, chisels and other tools.

The men, who were allegedly in attires with the insignia of PDP-umbrella, the green, white, red colours and the imprint of the PDP, were reportedly accosted by security agents at the gate of the Government House.

"When the security men challenged them, the men didn't answer.  One of them just took out his GSM, pressed some numbers and handed the set to the security agents who were just saying "yes sir, yes sir, yes sir" before they handed the phone and went back to their duty post," the witness narrated.

The alleged decision of the security agents to turn a blind eye to the evil deed was what fuelled thye pointing of accusing fingers at the government in power, though, any chieftain of the two suspected parties, AD and PDP, could have been on the line.

Though fingers are being pointed at the 96-hours-old PDP-led government over the pull-down of Awolowo's statue, Engineer O. Adebbayo of Ward 9, Ibadan South-West has denounced such speculations, saying that all Yorubas, irrespecdtive of their different parties, are all children of Awolowo and sould not carry out such dastardly act……

A statement signed by State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Bola Alphonso, said a newspaper report which inferred that the destruction was carried out by partymen could not have been in good faith, saying there was no reason for such.

Chief Alphonso saif for all Chief Awolowo did for the socio-political development of the South-West and Nigeria in general, no sane person would embark on an action aimed at diminishing his person.

Insisting that the action was certainly the handiwork of PDP enemies, Chief Alphonso said during the last electioneering campaign, some politicians belonging to another party dressed in PDP uniform to perpetrate evil, so as to tarnish the image of the party.

He said notwithstanding the destruction of the statue, a new and better statue of Chief Awolowo would soon be built.

Finally, the party spokesman warned those who  would want to bring down the new government to desist as the long arms of the law would soon catch up with them….



As the "long arms of the law" have caught up with the killers of Chief Bola Ige, ehn?  If all the policeman guarding a whole live and breathing Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his bedroom in Ibadan (yes the same Ibadan) can all "go to eat" at the same time, why can policemen guarding a dead and still statue of Awolowo not turn a blind eye to a common statue?  If the killers of Ige have so far not been caught and jailed  - and even his topmost murder suspect is now a Senator-elect free on bail and and just in time to swear a Federal Republic of Nigeria oath as a law-maker - how can the fellers of a common statue be caught?

Epe!  Paga!

The hypocrisy of the late-action of the out-gone Adesina administration notwithstanding, this nauseating Saddam-like toppling of Awo's statue in Ibadan (complete with pictures, and as reported so far only by the Tribune) is bitter poetic justice to the very fickle Tribune (owned by the Awolowo family), which has exhibited many a suspicious political stance in the past several years, all of which must have been causing the old sage to turn in his 16-year grave.

Even Mama Mrs. HID has been talking a little bit funny ma  in recent days, not to talk of Prince Pastor Oluwole. 


Be careful what you ask God for - just in case you get it.

Asese bere…….

Bolaji Aluko
Shaking his head


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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.